How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near San Luis AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near San Luis AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far 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 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 reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in San Luis AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including San Luis AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of San Luis AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional 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 elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many San Luis AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school 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 receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking 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 should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have 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 readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the San Luis AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local San Luis AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Luis AZ, check that they are offered 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 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near San Luis Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Luis AZ.