How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near San Tan Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near San Tan Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in San Tan Valley AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including San Tan Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of San Tan Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some San Tan Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from San Tan Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several San Tan Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local San Tan Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the San Tan Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near San Tan Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near San Tan Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in San Tan Valley AZ.