How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Phoenix AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Phoenix AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Phoenix AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized 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 extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.