How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Catalina Foothills AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially 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 talk a bit 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 factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, 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 afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Questions 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 might have already picked the kind 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 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering 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 school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.