How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Tempe AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Tempe AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Tempe AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Tempe AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Tempe AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical 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. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Tempe AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant 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 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. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tempe AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Tempe Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tempe AZ.