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Become a Phlebotomist in Sierra Vista Arizona

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Sierra Vista AZ

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Sierra Vista AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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 classes.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sierra Vista AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Sierra Vista AZ labThere are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

Sierra Vista AZ woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant 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 a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. 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 phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Sierra Vista AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Sierra Vista AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only 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 on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend 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 in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Sierra Vista Arizona

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.