How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Goodyear AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Goodyear AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Goodyear AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Goodyear AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Goodyear AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Goodyear AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select 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 dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Goodyear AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Goodyear AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying 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 medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Goodyear Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goodyear AZ.