How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Casa Grande AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Casa Grande AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. 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 classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Casa Grande AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little 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 check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place 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 as well. You can also talk to a few Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Casa Grande AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And 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 have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.