How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Sun City AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Sun City AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Sun City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Sun City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sun City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college 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 phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Sun City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sun City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Sun City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sun City AZ.