How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important 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 factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians 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 Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Maricopa AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
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 require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges 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 assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. 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 college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.