How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Glendale AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Glendale AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Glendale AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Glendale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Glendale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Glendale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Glendale AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. 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 can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Glendale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Glendale AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale 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. And 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Glendale Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.