How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near El Mirage AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near El Mirage AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes 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 too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most El Mirage AZ employers look for 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer 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 Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage AZ.