How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Casa Grande AZ
Picking 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 difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous 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 nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
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 programs you are reviewing provide 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work 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 offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask 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 choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande AZ.