How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Goodyear AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Goodyear AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then 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 primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Goodyear AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Goodyear AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Goodyear 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical 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-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Goodyear AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Goodyear AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Goodyear AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Goodyear AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Goodyear AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Goodyear AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Goodyear Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen 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 select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goodyear AZ.