How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near San Luis AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near San Luis AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind 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 important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in San Luis AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as San Luis AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most San Luis AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many San Luis AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the San Luis AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local San Luis AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Luis AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near San Luis Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Luis AZ.