How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Chandler AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Chandler AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Chandler AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Right Chandler Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler Arizona.