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Become a Phlebotomist in Surprise Arizona

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Surprise AZ

Surprise AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Surprise AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Surprise AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Surprise AZ laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Surprise AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Surprise AZ woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get 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 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-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Should You Become a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Surprise AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Questions to ask Surprise AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 important if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Surprise AZ job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer 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 total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs 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 an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona

Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.