How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together 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, 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 complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal 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 investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher 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 a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every 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 final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.