How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near San Luis AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near San Luis AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in San Luis AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including San Luis AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of San Luis AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some San Luis AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount 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 extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the San Luis AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local San Luis AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near San Luis Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Luis AZ.