How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Maricopa AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together 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 phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing 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 Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially 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 sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.