How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near El Mirage Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near El Mirage AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in El Mirage AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including El Mirage AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many El Mirage AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program 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 obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, 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 looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the Arizona 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local El Mirage AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best El Mirage Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage Arizona.