How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Sun City AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Sun City AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Sun City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Sun City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. 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. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential 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 graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Sun City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional 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 Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Sun City Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.