How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Surprise AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Surprise AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal 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.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Surprise AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Surprise AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While 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 some 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 essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Surprise AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind 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 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 picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior 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 schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Surprise AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many 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 check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Surprise AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Surprise AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Surprise AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Surprise AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Surprise Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. 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 appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Surprise AZ.