How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Scottsdale AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Scottsdale AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants 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 a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much 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 higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to 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, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.