How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Sierra Vista AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Sierra Vista AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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 labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Sierra Vista AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method 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.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Sierra Vista AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sierra Vista AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to 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. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide 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 concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.