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Become a Phlebotomist in Mesa Arizona

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Mesa AZ

Mesa AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Mesa AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may 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's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Summary

Mesa AZ phlebotomy laboratory techA 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. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm 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 has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Mesa AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Mesa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Mesa AZ labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Mesa AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Schools

Mesa AZ student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

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 selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Mesa AZ job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

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 schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Mesa Arizona

Mesa AZ phlebotomist lab blood testingMaking certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mesa AZ.