How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Marana AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing 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 drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Marana AZ employers look for 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Marana AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose 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 dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available 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 Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.