How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Marana AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Marana AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two 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 nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Marana AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as 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 furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But 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 additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Marana AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Marana 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 a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Marana AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Marana Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.