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Become a Phlebotomist in San Tan Valley Arizona

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near San Tan Valley AZ

San Tan Valley AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomy 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 assess 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 receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may 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 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 significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description

San Tan Valley AZ phlebotomy laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as San Tan Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. 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 phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in San Tan Valley AZ laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many San Tan Valley AZ employers require certification prior to 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

San Tan Valley AZ woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other San Tan Valley AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Questions to ask San Tan Valley AZ phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All 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 a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws 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 completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose 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 exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical 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 programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near San Tan Valley Arizona

Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country 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 carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in San Tan Valley AZ.