How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Surprise AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Surprise AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important 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 reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 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. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus 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 phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might 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 readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.