Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Right One Near Gilbert Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Gilbert AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for 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 talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance 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 assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Gilbert AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Gilbert 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours 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 extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. 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 Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gilbert AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 Gilbert AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Gilbert Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, 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 realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert Arizona.