How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control 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 Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting 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 provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to 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 some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.