How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Avondale Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Avondale AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Avondale AZ employers look for 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Avondale 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 lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, 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 loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students 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 check with a few Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Avondale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Avondale Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale Arizona.