How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as El Mirage 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 young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing 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 elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many El Mirage AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school 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 obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable 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 is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local El Mirage AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.