How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Mesa AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Mesa AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Mesa AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also 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 closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Mesa Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.