How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near San Tan Valley AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near San Tan Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as 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 of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification before 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 chosen the type of program you wish 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.