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Become a Phlebotomist in Tempe Arizona

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Tempe AZ

Tempe AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy school near Tempe AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Job Description

Tempe AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tempe AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Tempe AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Tempe AZ labThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Tempe AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Tempe AZ woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Tempe AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Tempe AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Tempe AZ phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable 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 Ranking? In a number of 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 important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Tempe AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Tempe Arizona

Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.