How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Maricopa AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Maricopa AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Maricopa AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from an assurance of a premium 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 programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.