How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Phoenix AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Phoenix Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.