How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Glendale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Glendale AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Glendale AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Glendale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Glendale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Glendale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Glendale AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea 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 college is important 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 program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Glendale AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Glendale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Glendale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Glendale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best 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 health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Glendale AZ.