How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Maricopa AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far 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 also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. 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 a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, 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 requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need 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 working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit 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 offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Maricopa AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend 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, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.