How to Enroll in the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
An important first step you must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Chandler AZ. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing 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.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Chandler AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want 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 Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College'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 caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Chandler AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Chandler Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler Arizona.