How to Pick the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Drexel Heights AZ. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Drexel Heights AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Drexel Heights AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Drexel Heights AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Drexel Heights AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Drexel Heights AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out 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 as well. You can also talk to several Drexel Heights AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Drexel Heights AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Drexel Heights AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Drexel Heights Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Drexel Heights Arizona.