How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Surprise AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Surprise AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
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 collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Surprise AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Surprise AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Surprise AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Surprise AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college 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 some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Surprise AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Surprise AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 large network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist 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 comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Surprise AZ.