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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Catalina Foothills Arizona student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

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 medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Questions to ask Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very 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 all exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills AZ.