How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Oro Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered 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 Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 provide no less than 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 expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training 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 fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley AZ.