How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near San Tan Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near San Tan Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several 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. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some San Tan Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 schools are in total 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.