Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Fountain Hills Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fountain Hills AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much 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. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fountain Hills AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Fountain Hills AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Fountain Hills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Fountain Hills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fountain Hills AZ job market.
What is the School'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 important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Fountain Hills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Fountain Hills AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Fountain Hills Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fountain Hills Arizona.