How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Goodyear AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Goodyear AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Goodyear AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Goodyear AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly 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 collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Goodyear AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Goodyear AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Goodyear AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected 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 school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Goodyear AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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 learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Goodyear AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Goodyear Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Goodyear AZ.