How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Scottsdale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Scottsdale AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Scottsdale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Scottsdale AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Scottsdale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Scottsdale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Scottsdale AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Scottsdale AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Scottsdale Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Scottsdale AZ.