Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near El Mirage Arizona
A critical first step one must take to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in El Mirage AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most El Mirage AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares 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 organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right El Mirage Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage Arizona.