How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near El Mirage AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, many El Mirage AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical 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 very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.