How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Casa Grande AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Casa Grande AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Casa Grande AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to 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 picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely 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 any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future 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 along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask 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 total 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Casa Grande Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.