How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Oro Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Oro Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 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 furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley AZ.