How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Casas Adobes AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Casas Adobes AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Casas Adobes AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Casas Adobes AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together 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 provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Casas Adobes AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Casas Adobes AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend 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 Casas Adobes AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Casas Adobes AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Casas Adobes AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available 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 Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Casas Adobes AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Casas Adobes AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Casas Adobes Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casas Adobes AZ.