How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near San Luis AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near San Luis AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to 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 reviewing 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 continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Luis AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as San Luis AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians 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
There 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 offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of San Luis AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some San Luis AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the San Luis AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local San Luis AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near San Luis Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly 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 school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Luis AZ.