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Become a Phlebotomist in Scottsdale Arizona

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomist training near Scottsdale AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Scottsdale AZ laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Scottsdale AZ student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive 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 best option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Scottsdale Arizona

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.