How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near El Mirage AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near El Mirage AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most El Mirage AZ employers require certification before 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage AZ.