How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Surprise AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Surprise AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Surprise AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future 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 colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement 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 clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make certain they are available 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
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Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.