How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). 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 study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help 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 much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.