How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Catalina Foothills AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain 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 location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two 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 finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select 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 quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish 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 adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most 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 health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.