How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Tempe AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Tempe AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Tempe AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Tempe AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?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 short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Tempe AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general 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 type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 check with a few Tempe AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tempe AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work 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 part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.