How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Oro Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Oro Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by considering 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 review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing 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 properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important 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 phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? 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 requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 essential to check the reputations of any 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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 Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley AZ.