How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near San Tan Valley AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near San Tan Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right 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.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of San Tan Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many San Tan Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? 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 performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the San Tan Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local San Tan Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.