How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Marana AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Marana AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Marana AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Marana AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Marana AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.