How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near San Tan Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near San Tan Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically 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 means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant 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 phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.