How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Surprise AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, 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. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers look for 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain 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 best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Surprise AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist 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 higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.