How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Surprise AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, 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. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Surprise AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting 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 schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Surprise AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.