How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Tempe AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tempe AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tempe AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Tempe AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Tempe AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose 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 Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Tempe AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Tempe AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tempe AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program 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 school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.