How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might 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 make sure that you get a superior 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 a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Phoenix AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. 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 may be a more convenient option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing 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 need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? 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 in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added 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 Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only 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 part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. 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 wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.