How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Phoenix AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often 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 Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 practicing 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.