How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Mesa AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Mesa AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools 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 should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Mesa AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Mesa AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Mesa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium 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 ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Mesa AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mesa 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 in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Mesa AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Mesa Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mesa AZ.