How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Oro Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 also. To assist in that effort, 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 then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley AZ.