How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near El Mirage AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important 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 such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist 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 below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully 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 choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.