How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Phoenix AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Phoenix AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants 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 instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online 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 should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might 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 practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.