How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might 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 keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order 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 can 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 tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Scottsdale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative 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 lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Scottsdale AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Scottsdale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 positions, 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 Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 fulfilled 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.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Scottsdale Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.