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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Catalina Foothills AZ labThere are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees

Catalina Foothills AZ student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend 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 cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking 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 schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree 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 a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see 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 filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.