How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near San Luis AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near San Luis AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Luis AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as San Luis AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most San Luis AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many San Luis AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type 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 relevant 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 online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future 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 colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any 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 assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several San Luis AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local San Luis AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Luis AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near San Luis Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Luis AZ.