How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Casa Grande AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Casa Grande AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Casa Grande AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate 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 placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande AZ.