How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Tempe AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tempe AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy 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 may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Tempe AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Tempe AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting 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 desirable to future employers in the Tempe AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Tempe AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer 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 college 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? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tempe AZ.