How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Glendale AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Glendale AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Glendale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much 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 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 health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Glendale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.