How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Maricopa AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Maricopa AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered 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 schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added 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 Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.