How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy School near Sierra Vista AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Sierra Vista AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sierra Vista AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Sierra Vista AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working 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 range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Sierra Vista AZ employers require 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Sierra Vista AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Sierra Vista AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you 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 kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each 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, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Sierra Vista AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sierra Vista 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 also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.