How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Maricopa AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Maricopa AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Maricopa AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. 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 can be a more convenient alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Maricopa AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings 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 as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.