How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Casa Grande AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Casa Grande AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based 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 collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Casa Grande AZ employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college 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 phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered 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. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added 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 Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Casa Grande AZ.