How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.