How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near El Mirage AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must 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 assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, 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.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of El Mirage AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional 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 aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to 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 refer their graduates 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 check with several El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make certain 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.