How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near San Tan Valley AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist training near San Tan Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in San Tan Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train 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, such as San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered 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, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few San Tan Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.