How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Marana AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Marana AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm 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. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Marana AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Marana AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you 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 decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Marana AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Marana Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.