How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Casa Grande AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Casa Grande AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Casa Grande AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Casa Grande AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Casa Grande AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Casa Grande Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande AZ.