How to Choose the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Drexel Heights AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. More often than not the two requirements that initially are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Drexel Heights AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Drexel Heights AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in 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.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Drexel Heights AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive 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.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Drexel Heights AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Drexel Heights AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Drexel Heights AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Drexel Heights AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Drexel Heights 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Drexel Heights Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Drexel Heights Arizona.