How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Marana AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Marana AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Marana AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Marana AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Marana AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Marana AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.