How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Goodyear AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Goodyear AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Goodyear AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest 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 Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Goodyear AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Goodyear AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Goodyear AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Goodyear AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting 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 need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many 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 check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Goodyear AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Goodyear AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 an extensive network of professional contacts within the Goodyear AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Goodyear Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goodyear AZ.