How to Select the Best Phlebotomist School near San Tan Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near San Tan Valley AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of San Tan Valley AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical 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 also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to 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. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.