How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Tempe AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tempe AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives 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 fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Tempe AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Tempe AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Tempe AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in 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.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Tempe AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.