How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Surprise AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Surprise AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Surprise AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Surprise AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Surprise AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend 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 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.