How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy 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 a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.