How to Select the Best Phlebotomy School near Marana AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Marana AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting 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 receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far 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. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Marana AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Marana AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Marana AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Marana AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final 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 Sufficient 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Marana AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Marana AZ.