How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Sun City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Sun City AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Sun City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Sun City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part 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 all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sun City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sun City 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 also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.