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Become a Phlebotomist in San Tan Valley Arizona

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near San Tan Valley AZ

San Tan Valley AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the right phlebotomy technician school near San Tan Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

San Tan Valley AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in San Tan Valley AZ labThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of San Tan Valley AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Schools

San Tan Valley AZ woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy 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 only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly 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 need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.