How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near San Tan Valley AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near San Tan Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process 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 online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked 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 training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part 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 more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What 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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.