How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Chandler AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Chandler AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical 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 can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check 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 placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chandler AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Chandler Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler Arizona.