How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Goodyear AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Goodyear AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of 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 responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Goodyear AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once 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 before hiring 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Goodyear AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior 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 best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Goodyear AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want 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 cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Goodyear AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering 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 jobs, 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 Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Goodyear Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit 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 thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Goodyear AZ.