How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Apache Junction AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Apache Junction AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Apache Junction AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior 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 every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Apache Junction AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Apache Junction Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apache Junction AZ.