How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Apache Junction AZ
Selecting the right 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. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much 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. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Apache Junction AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally 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 fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Apache Junction AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Apache Junction AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apache Junction AZ.