How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Marana AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Marana AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Marana AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you may 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 complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide 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 expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Marana AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important 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 premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Marana AZ.