How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Glendale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Glendale AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Glendale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Glendale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Glendale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.