How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Phoenix AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous 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 Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic 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 intend 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Enough 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you select 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 several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.