How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Surprise AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options 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, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Surprise AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning 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 Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only 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 part-time, verify 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy 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 array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.