How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Oro Valley AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Oro Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Oro Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm 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 clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality 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 best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.