How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Sun City AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Sun City AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 actually work in Sun City AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually 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 method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Sun City AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Sun City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you 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 kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many 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 check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sun City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make sure 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sun City AZ.