How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Oro Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Oro Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method 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.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see 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 submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Oro Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley AZ.