How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Tucson AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Tucson AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Tucson AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Tucson AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered 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. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Tucson AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Tucson AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little 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 investigate 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Tucson AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Tucson AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Tucson Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tucson AZ.