How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near El Mirage AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near El Mirage AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed 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. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review 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 insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher 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 healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near El Mirage Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage AZ.