How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Sierra Vista AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Sierra Vista AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sierra Vista AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Sierra Vista AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Sierra Vista AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist 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. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Sierra Vista AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare 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 develop relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing 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 positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sierra Vista AZ.