What exactly is involved in becoming a phlebotomist?
Before you ever draw blood on any human subject, you must be fully versed on the anatomy and procedure required to achieve a successful venipuncture. In addition as part of the diploma or certificate program in phlebotomy technician, you will learn CPR and first aid. Essentially a phlebotomist is a medical assistant specializing in drawing blood. During the classroom courses, they get practice on dummy arms, before they start practicing on their classmates and other volunteers. Capillary punctures, requiring minute amounts of blood, then drawing blood using a tourniquet and collection tubes, is the progression of the coursework, All programs have an externship of anywhere from 150 to 200 hours, where the student must complete 100 unaided draws of blood. When all of these requirements are completed, then they can sit for the ASCP (American Society of certified Pathologists) certification exam for phlebotomist technologists.
Most employers of phlebotomists would prefer you have paid experience as a phlebotomist before they will hire you. That unfortunately is the “Catch 22”; in order to get someone to hire you; you have to be a proven entity in the field. This is not fair, but it is the reality in a lot of cases. Completing an approved phlebotomy training course and passing a certification exam will improve your chances in getting a job as a phlebotomist. The best chances you have in finding employment is in a private lab, like Labcorp, in a hospital setting, or rarely in a private physician’s office. The private physician will generally not have a certified phlebotomist on staff, rather people, i.e. medical assistants, nurses, who are knowledgeable in phlebotomy to draw blood and send in to the lab for analysis. The reason for this is simple; it is cost effective for a physician to avoid increasing his overhead for a person who is a specialist. Most phlebotomists would prefer to spend their time drawing blood, and not do other medical office work. The amount of times a blood sample has to be taken for analysis is in most cases, not enough to warrant hiring someone just to draw blood full time.
How to become a phlebotomist in Arizona?
In Arizona, you do not need to pass a certification exam to practice. However, it can only improve your employability if you obtain this certification. There are two organizations that certify phlebotomists ASCP (American Society of Certified Pathologists) and the AMT (American Medical Technologists). Both exams test your knowledge in phlebotomy by taking a pencil and paper multiple choice exams, the true test of any phlebotomist’s ability is in the field. If a phlebotomist cannot make it in real life situations, under stress, then perhaps phlebotomy as a career is not a good fit for their ability or temperament.
So how long does it take to become a phlebotomist in Arizona?
The average classroom time is 60 hours and the clinical is 160 hours totaling 220 hours.
How much will an Arizona resident expect to pay for phlebotomy training?
The classroom time is 60 hours and the clinical is 160 hours totaling 220 hours at $72 an hour which equals $15,840. If the student is not an Arizona resident the hourly rate is 320 dollars an hour. With this certificate the student can sit for the certification exam given by ASCP, and hopefully obtain gainful employment as a phlebotomist. You can also search internet for Phlebotomy Scholarships, or contact school’s guidance counselor for advise.
How much do phlebotomist make in Arizona?
It depends upon the experience, but an average Phlebotomy technician can make from $9 per hour to $22 per hours with benefits. You can go to Beauro of Labor Statistics and find out a median pay in your area.
What are the top 5 schools in Arizona to get phlebotomy training?
The top 5 schools in Arizona to get phlebotomy training are Central Arizona College, Phoenix College and Arizona College. Cactus Wren home care school, and Estrella Mountain Community College.
At Central Arizona College, the phlebotomy training program will culminate in a certificate; they do not offer a degree in phlebotomy. Besides drawing blood, a phlebotomist has to learn to maintain their composure in any and all situations that might come up in the field. For this reason this program’s requirement of eight weeks in the classroom and eight weeks in a clinical setting makes a lot of sense. We all know plenty of book smart people who cannot, due to poor interpersonal skills, keep a job. To get the certificate at this school, students need 100 successful venipunctures, 10 fingersticks, and complete 180 hours in an eight week clinical setting and lastly they have to observe a blood gas with respiratory therapy. Students are also fully versed in HIPPA, which insures the confidentiality of patient information.
At Phoenix College, they offer a certificate in Phlebotomy, which can be completed in less than two years. If the student already is a health care worker, the time period to take the specific phlebotomy coursework and practicum will take about a year. The techniques of drawing blood, the knowledge of how to prepare blood specimens for analysis by an outside labs, which tubes to draw for which tests, how much blood to draw, how to deal with difficult patients and hard to find veins are all topics covered in the coursework.
The total tuition costs, you will incur, are dependent upon how long it will take you to complete the coursework. The hourly rate per credit at Phoenix College is 76 dollars. You must complete at a minimum 100 successful venipunctures at a clinical site. The approximate costs for the courses is$ 1000, fees another $500, books, $ 300. So a total of $1800 for applicants who already have a degree in a health science, are a working health care provider or have already fulfilled the prerequisites at other institutions.
At the Cactus Wren training program, the cost for 40 hours of classroom instruction, and 100 clinical hours with the achievement of 100 successful unaided blood collection venipunctures is $1740. This will allow these students to sit for the national certification exam for phlebotomists.
At Arizona College, a diploma is offered in Phlebotomy. It takes 20 weeks, which includes a 5 weeks, 200 hours externship to complete. The total costs for this diploma program, according to their catalog amounts to $10,000. Is a diploma more valuable than a certificate program? In some employer’s eyes, perhaps it is, but the reality is that very few schools offer a diploma in phlebotomy; most only offer a certificate.
The last school in Arizona that offers a certificate in phlebotomy is the Estrella Mountain Community college. This program lasts 410 clock hours, with an 80 hour externship included in that number of hours. The costs for this program is $2500, not including books, which could add another 250 dollars to the total.
The choice of where you want to get phlebotomy training is up to you. The quality of the training you get is not always contingent on how much money you spent. If you can do the job, it does not really matter where you received your training.