How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Gilbert AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Gilbert AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Gilbert AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Gilbert AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Gilbert AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.