How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Tempe AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Tempe AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. 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 remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tempe AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background 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 require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Tempe AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.