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Become a Phlebotomist in Maricopa Arizona

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa AZ

Maricopa AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Maricopa AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Maricopa AZ phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Maricopa AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Maricopa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Maricopa AZ laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Maricopa Arizona student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program 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 approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Maricopa Arizona

Maricopa AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa AZ.