How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Sierra Vista AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Sierra Vista AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sierra Vista AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Sierra Vista AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Sierra Vista AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Sierra Vista AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sierra Vista AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools 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 assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Sierra Vista AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see 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 filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Sierra Vista Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sierra Vista AZ.