How to Enroll in the Best One Near Marana Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Marana AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Marana AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Marana AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Marana AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Marana AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Marana AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Marana AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Marana AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Marana AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marana AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Marana Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Marana Arizona.