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Become a Phlebotomist in Sierra Vista Arizona

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Sierra Vista AZ

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Sierra Vista AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to 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. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sierra Vista AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Sierra Vista AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Sierra Vista AZ labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Sierra Vista AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Sierra Vista Arizona woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy 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 receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

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 may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Sierra Vista AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true 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, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sierra Vista Arizona

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. 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 are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.