How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Surprise AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Surprise AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical 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 are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.