How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Goodyear AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Goodyear AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best 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 Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Goodyear AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Goodyear AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy 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 available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Goodyear AZ employers require certification prior to 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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 portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Goodyear AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Goodyear AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Goodyear AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Goodyear AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Goodyear AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Goodyear AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Goodyear AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Goodyear Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Goodyear AZ.