How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Glendale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Glendale AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Glendale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Glendale AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Glendale AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Glendale AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need 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 practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Glendale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Glendale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.