How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 call for 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 phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local El Mirage AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.