How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Gilbert AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Gilbert AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Gilbert AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy 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 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Gilbert AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.