How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Casa Grande AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Casa Grande AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check 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 information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require 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 essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations 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 clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets 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 school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, 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 considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Casa Grande Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.