How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Oro Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Oro Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses 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 may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood 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 can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, 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 a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.