How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near San Tan Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near San Tan Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many San Tan Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other San Tan Valley AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can 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 carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.