How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Marana AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Marana AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Marana AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree 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 phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Marana AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Marana AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Marana AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Marana AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Marana AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Marana Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana AZ.