How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Mesa AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Mesa AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must 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 select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Mesa AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds 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 general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Mesa AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Mesa AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). 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 learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind 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 significant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should furnish at least 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 offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Mesa AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Mesa Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa AZ.