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Become a Phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomy school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Oro Valley AZ laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished 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 primary 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

Oro Valley Arizona student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school 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 online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, 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? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend 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, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Oro Valley Arizona

Oro Valley AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.