How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Tucson AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Tucson AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Tucson AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Tucson AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Tucson AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Tucson AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Tucson AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Tucson AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Tucson Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Tucson AZ.