How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Glendale AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Glendale AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Glendale AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Glendale AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Glendale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often 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 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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Glendale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Glendale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Glendale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Glendale AZ.