Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Mesa Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Mesa AZ is an important initial 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. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. 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 ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Mesa AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Mesa AZ employers require certification before 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mesa 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 also. And if you have decided to study 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Mesa Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa Arizona.