How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Maricopa AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Maricopa AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select 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 means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing 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 select 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 be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.