How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near El Mirage AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near El Mirage AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened 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 certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing 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 collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most El Mirage AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important 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 phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 practical 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.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.