How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Sun City AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Sun City AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sun City AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sun City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. 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 solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Sun City AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Sun City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Sun City AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. 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. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Sun City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Sun City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added 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 Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sun City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending 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 part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sun City Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sun City AZ.