How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Apache Junction AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Apache Junction AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Apache Junction AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Apache Junction AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study 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-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Apache Junction AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apache Junction AZ.