How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Casa Grande AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Casa Grande AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are responsible for 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working 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 collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two 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 furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished 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 principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Casa Grande AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask 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 practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.