How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Oro Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Oro Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Oro Valley AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical 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 best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.