Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Apache Junction Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Apache Junction AZ. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Apache Junction AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Apache Junction AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Apache Junction AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Apache Junction AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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 clinical and classroom. 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Apache Junction Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apache Junction Arizona.