How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 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 essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.