How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near San Tan Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near San Tan Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion 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 colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose 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 dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind 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 tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very 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 exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some San Tan Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.