How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Phoenix AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically 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 method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses 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 may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like 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, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.