How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near El Mirage AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near El Mirage AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online 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 may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want 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 online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local El Mirage AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program 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 ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.