How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Gilbert AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Gilbert AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Gilbert AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Gilbert AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.