How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Glendale AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Glendale AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares 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 possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Glendale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered 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. 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 Ranking? In numerous 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 imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Glendale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Glendale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. 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, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Glendale AZ.