How to Find the Best One Near Phoenix Arizona
An important first step one must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Phoenix AZ. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Phoenix AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phoenix Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.