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Become a Phlebotomist in Scottsdale Arizona

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the right phlebotomist training near Scottsdale AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Scottsdale AZ laboratoryThere are essentially 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 general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Scottsdale AZ employers require certification before 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Scottsdale Arizona student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. 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, 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.