How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Surprise AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Surprise AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Surprise AZ clinics or hospitals that you may 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research 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 options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.