How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Oro Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places 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 all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become 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 offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification before 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national 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 study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal 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 check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional 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 Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.