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Become a Phlebotomist in Scottsdale Arizona

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Scottsdale AZ laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Scottsdale AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Scottsdale Arizona student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 agencies. 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 college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Scottsdale Arizona

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.