How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near Mesa AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Mesa AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Mesa AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Mesa AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? 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. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available 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 School'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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Mesa AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Mesa Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.