How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. 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 schools later in this article. What's important to remember 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 must be part of your selection process as well. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able 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 may 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive 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 partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend 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, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.