How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Casa Grande AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Casa Grande AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs 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 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Casa Grande AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. 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 routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. 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 many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Casa Grande AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.