How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Surprise AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating 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 also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest 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 most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Surprise AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed 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 component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Surprise AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance 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 school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, check that they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right 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 rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.