How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School 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 may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect 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 blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might 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 ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to 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 part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.