How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Avondale Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Avondale AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Avondale 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you 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 picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and 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 could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Avondale Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale Arizona.