How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Apache Junction AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Apache Junction AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Apache Junction AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several 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 essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to 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 part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apache Junction AZ.