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Become a Phlebotomist in Scottsdale Arizona

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Scottsdale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary

Scottsdale AZ phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Scottsdale AZ labThere are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Scottsdale Arizona student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist 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 comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Scottsdale AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant 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 phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, 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 is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona

Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can 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 carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.