How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior 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 samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very 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 enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.