How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Tempe AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Tempe AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Tempe AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Tempe AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Tempe AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.