How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Tucson AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Tucson AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Tucson AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Tucson AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Tucson AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Tucson AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Tucson AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Tucson AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Tucson AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Tucson AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Tucson AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist 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 gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Tucson AZ.