How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Mesa AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Mesa AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Mesa AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Mesa AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mesa AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are available 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Mesa Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.