How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Tempe AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Tempe AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into 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's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tempe AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Tempe AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact 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 Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Tempe AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed 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 Right Phlebotomist Training near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.