How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Surprise AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Surprise AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked 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 collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Surprise AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program 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 select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.