How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Surprise AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Surprise AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much 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 too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Surprise AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college 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 phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help 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 higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health 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. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.