Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Gilbert Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Gilbert AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered 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 comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Gilbert AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide 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 sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Gilbert AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make certain 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Gilbert Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may 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 need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert Arizona.