How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Tempe AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Tempe AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must 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 pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After 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 testing process. 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 actually work in Tempe AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Tempe AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Tempe AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some 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 provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Tempe AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain 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 choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Tempe AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Tempe AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may 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 practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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 loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Tempe AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Tempe AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tempe AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tempe AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Tempe Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health 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 can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tempe AZ.