How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Tempe AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Tempe AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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 responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw 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 collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Tempe AZ employers look for certification before 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with 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 refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Tempe AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tempe AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.