Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Choose the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Phoenix AZ. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out 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 assistance program must also be included in your evaluation 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Phoenix AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phoenix Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix Arizona.