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Become a Phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills AZ

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes 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 reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomist lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Catalina Foothills AZ labThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Catalina Foothills AZ student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected 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 could be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Catalina Foothills AZ phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 provide at least 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 furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Catalina Foothills Arizona

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills AZ.