How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Tucson AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Tucson AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly 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 screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tucson AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Tucson AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Tucson AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. 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 quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Tucson AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option 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 begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 also. You can even talk to some Tucson AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tucson AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tucson AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Tucson Arizona
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential 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 superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tucson AZ.