How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Scottsdale AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering 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 college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.