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Become a Phlebotomist in Apache Junction Arizona

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Apache Junction AZ

Apache Junction AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Apache Junction AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Apache Junction AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Apache Junction AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Apache Junction AZ labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Apache Junction AZ student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Apache Junction AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Apache Junction Arizona

Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Apache Junction AZ.