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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy school near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Catalina Foothills AZ woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some 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 graduates 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 talk to a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking sure that you choose 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 training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.