How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Sierra Vista AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Sierra Vista AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. 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 schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sierra Vista AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Sierra Vista AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Sierra Vista AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Sierra Vista AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority 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 health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sierra Vista AZ.