How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Marana AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed 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 accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Marana AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Marana AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing 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 need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Marana AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, make certain 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Marana Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Marana AZ.