How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near El Mirage AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of El Mirage AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium 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 Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting 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 colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage AZ.