How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Maricopa AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Maricopa AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process 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 reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check 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 also check with a few Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.