How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Mesa AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Mesa AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Mesa AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Mesa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, 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 collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Mesa AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Mesa AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 Mesa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, 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 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 Mesa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mesa AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Mesa Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.