How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Marana AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Marana AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Marana AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Marana AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based 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 exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Marana AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 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 important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Marana AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school 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 examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college 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 those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing 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 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Marana AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along 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 make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Marana AZ.