How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Casa Grande AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Casa Grande AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many 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 infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Casa Grande AZ employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Casa Grande AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority 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 Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.