How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Oro Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Oro Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option 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 remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Oro Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have 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 working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin 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 reviews and rating 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 see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available 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 Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.