How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Surprise AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended 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 on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable 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? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings 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, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling 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 program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.