How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Casa Grande AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Casa Grande AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Casa Grande AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take 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 programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional 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 Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make sure 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.