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Become a Phlebotomist in Casa Grande Arizona

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Casa Grande AZ

Casa Grande AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Casa Grande AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors 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 furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Casa Grande AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Casa Grande AZ labThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees

Casa Grande Arizona woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, 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 performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should furnish 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 provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Casa Grande AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Casa Grande Arizona

Making certain 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 multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande AZ.