How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Goodyear AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Goodyear AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Goodyear AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Goodyear AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers 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 example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing 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 collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Goodyear AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Goodyear AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Goodyear AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Goodyear AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little 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 start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 Goodyear AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Goodyear AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Goodyear Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goodyear AZ.