How to Choose the Right 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 rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most San Tan Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many San Tan Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make sure they are available 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.