How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Maricopa AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Maricopa AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification before 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like 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 offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite 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 choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often 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 Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional 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 Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.