How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Mesa AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Mesa AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Mesa AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Mesa AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Mesa AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Mesa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy 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 have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 College's Reputation? In many 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 imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Mesa AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Mesa Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mesa AZ.