How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near San Luis AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near San Luis AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, 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 then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in San Luis AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including San Luis AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many San Luis 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many San Luis AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, 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 significant if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Luis 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 some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local San Luis AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near San Luis Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right 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 quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Luis AZ.