How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near El Mirage AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near El Mirage AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional 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 in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local El Mirage AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night 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, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage AZ.