How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Maricopa AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Maricopa AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply 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 then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
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 provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality 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 best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 Enough 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs 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 means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly 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 pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.