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Become a Phlebotomist in Sierra Vista Arizona

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Sierra Vista AZ

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomy training near Sierra Vista AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can 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 certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, 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. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Sierra Vista AZ labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Sierra Vista AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomist Online Schools

Sierra Vista Arizona woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Sierra Vista AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Sierra Vista AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Questions to ask Sierra Vista AZ phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Sierra Vista AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available 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 College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Sierra Vista AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Sierra Vista AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sierra Vista AZ health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sierra Vista AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Sierra Vista Arizona

Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sierra Vista AZ.