How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Marana AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Marana AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Marana AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Marana AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify 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 online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the College'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 essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Marana AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Marana AZ.