How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Glendale AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Glendale AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Glendale AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Glendale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing 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 programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 clinical and classroom. At 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Glendale AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly 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 need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.