How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Scottsdale AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task 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 receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although 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 finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Scottsdale AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important 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 phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. 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 College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Ample Training Included? First, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.