How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Sierra Vista AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Sierra Vista AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Sierra Vista AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Sierra Vista AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer 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, many Sierra Vista AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program 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 receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Sierra Vista AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.