How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near El Mirage Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as El Mirage AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of El Mirage AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few El Mirage AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local El Mirage AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best El Mirage Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college 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 select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage Arizona.