How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Mesa AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Mesa AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Mesa AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Mesa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may 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 samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less 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 become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Mesa AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, check that they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Mesa Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.