How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Scottsdale AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood 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 tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Scottsdale AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many 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 could be a more practical alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools 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 an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are offered 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.