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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Catalina Foothills AZ labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Catalina Foothills AZ woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, 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 securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. 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 part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist lab blood analysisMaking sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.