How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Catalina Foothills AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish 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 in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy 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 some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist 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 a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before 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 select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.