How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Casas Adobes AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Casas Adobes AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Casas Adobes AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Casas Adobes AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Casas Adobes AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Casas Adobes AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 Casas Adobes AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Casas Adobes AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Casas Adobes AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Casas Adobes AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Casas Adobes AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Casas Adobes Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casas Adobes AZ.