How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near El Mirage AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near El Mirage AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much 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 decision process as well. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working 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 setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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. Although not mandated 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school 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 quality 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently 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 Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.