How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Avra Valley Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Avra Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Avra Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Avra Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Avra Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, 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 offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Avra Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Avra Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Avra Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Avra Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Avra Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Avra Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avra Valley AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Avra Valley AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Avra Valley Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avra Valley Arizona.