How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Scottsdale AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, 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 infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as 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 supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of 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 convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic 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 kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.