How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Catalina Foothills AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective 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 online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose 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 school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you may 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Catalina Foothills AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.