How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Sun City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Sun City AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 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 a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools 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 variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding 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 intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some 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 requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sun City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sun City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before 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 select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.