How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Scottsdale AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now 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 selected the kind of program you want 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.