How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including 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 evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing 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 drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several 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 imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend 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 Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.