How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Casa Grande AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Casa Grande AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.