How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Surprise AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation 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, most Surprise AZ employers require certification before hiring 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.