How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Scottsdale AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Scottsdale AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important 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 such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you select 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 Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely 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 practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Scottsdale AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Scottsdale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, 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 OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Scottsdale AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before 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 require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Scottsdale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to 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. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.