How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Marana AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Marana AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like 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 examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Marana AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start 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 even talk to several Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Marana AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.