How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Maricopa AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Maricopa AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly 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 drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two 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 as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Maricopa AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.