How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Casa Grande AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Casa Grande AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 Casa Grande AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Casa Grande AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.