How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Sun City AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Sun City AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Sun City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide 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 offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sun City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide 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 program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.