How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Tucson AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Tucson AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Tucson AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Tucson AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Tucson AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Tucson AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ as well as the tuition expense. 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 school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Tucson AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Tucson AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support 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, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tucson AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Tucson Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tucson AZ.