How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near San Luis AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near San Luis AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Luis AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as San Luis AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish 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 method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming 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 furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most San Luis AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some San Luis AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other San Luis AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from San Luis AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Luis AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several San Luis AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local San Luis AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Luis AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Luis AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study 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 have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near San Luis Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Luis AZ.