How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near Sun City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Sun City AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation 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 resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Sun City AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient 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 expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All 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 reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have 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 preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. 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 recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Sun City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position 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 higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sun City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.