How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Scottsdale AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Scottsdale AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick 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 schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Scottsdale AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification prior to 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before 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. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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. At 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy 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 rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Scottsdale AZ.