How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Oro Valley AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Oro Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards 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 principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as 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 babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 prior to practicing 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 enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important 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 school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.