How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Sun City AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Sun City AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sun City AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Sun City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Sun City AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Sun City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 significant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Sun City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Sun City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position 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 rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sun City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sun City AZ.