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Become a Phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Oro Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Oro Valley AZ laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available 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 become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Oro Valley Arizona woman attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing 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 looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations 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 practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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 financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy lab blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley AZ.