How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near El Mirage AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most El Mirage AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected 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 may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus 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 online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.