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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Catalina Foothills Arizona woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist 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 phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 Sufficient 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.