How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Catalina Foothills AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance 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, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.