How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Maricopa AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Maricopa AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Maricopa AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Maricopa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree 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 quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Maricopa AZ employers require certification before employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also 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 insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable 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 Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out 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 the majority 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 critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. 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, verify it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Maricopa Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa AZ.