How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 actually work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college 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 approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, 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 a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? 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 essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.