How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Sun City AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Sun City AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools 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 accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. 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 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 training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sun City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Sun City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend 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 Sun City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide 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 provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sun City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.