How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Tempe AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Tempe AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tempe AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Tempe AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous 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. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tempe AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical 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 superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.