How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Gilbert AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested 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 tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Gilbert AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Gilbert AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.