How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final 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 require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place 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 contact several Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ 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 thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.