How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Apache Junction AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Apache Junction AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to 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 data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Apache Junction AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Apache Junction AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Apache Junction AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Apache Junction AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Apache Junction Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apache Junction AZ.