How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Anthem Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Anthem AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly 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 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Anthem AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Anthem AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Anthem AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Anthem AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Anthem AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Anthem AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Anthem AZ clinics or hospitals that you may 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Anthem AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer 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 college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Anthem AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Anthem AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Anthem AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Anthem Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Anthem Arizona.