How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Surprise AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Surprise AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national 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 certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Surprise AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. 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 school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.