How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Maricopa AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples 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 confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are offered 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.