How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Glendale AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Glendale AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Glendale AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Glendale AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of 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 essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide 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 total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Glendale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Glendale AZ.