How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged 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 drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain 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 receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to 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 students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.