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Become a Phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy school near Oro Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Job Summary

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Oro Valley AZ labThere are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally 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. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative 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 are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Oro Valley Arizona woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Adequate 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable 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 also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona

Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.