How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Chandler Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing 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 Ample Training Included? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided 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 Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Right Chandler Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler Arizona.