How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Glendale AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Glendale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Glendale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Glendale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate 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 options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Glendale AZ.