How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing 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 resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding 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 degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future 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 those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.