How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Phoenix AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, 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 opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help 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 higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.