How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Casa Grande AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Casa Grande AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat 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 charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Casa Grande AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande AZ.