How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Tucson AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Tucson AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tucson AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Tucson AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Tucson AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Tucson AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Tucson AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Tucson Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tucson AZ.