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Become a Phlebotomist in Sierra Vista Arizona

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Sierra Vista AZ

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomist school near Sierra Vista AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomist Work Summary

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sierra Vista AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Sierra Vista AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Sierra Vista AZ labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including 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 supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Sierra Vista Arizona woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend 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 opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive 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 phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Sierra Vista AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, 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 medical community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

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Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Sierra Vista Arizona

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sierra Vista AZ.