How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Tempe AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Tempe AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Tempe AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Tempe AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Tempe AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Tempe AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges 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 jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And 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 in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Tempe Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.