How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Tucson AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Tucson AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to 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 Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Tucson AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Tucson AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Tucson AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Tucson AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive 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 best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Tucson AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Tucson AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as 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 verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tucson AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Tucson Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tucson AZ.