How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy School near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Surprise AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Surprise AZ employers look for 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the School'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 quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.