Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Chandler AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed 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 point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Chandler AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Chandler AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to 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 part-time, confirm 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Chandler Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler Arizona.