How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact 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 looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.