How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Phoenix AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, 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 exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer 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 program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix AZ.