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How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Avra Valley Arizona

Avra Valley Arizona phlebotomist drawing blood from patient's armSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Avra Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 continue our conversation about online schools.

Phlebotomist Work Description

Avra Valley Arizona phlebotomist testing blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Avra Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance 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 are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Avra Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

Avra Valley Arizona phlebotomy tech examining a blood sampleThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically 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. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Avra Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Colleges

sample of blood in test tube Avra Valley ArizonaTo start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Avra Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Avra Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Avra Valley AZ job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Avra Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Avra Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avra Valley AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avra Valley AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Find Out More About Avra Valley Phlebotomist Programs

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?

Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. 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 then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.

Pick the Best Avra Valley Phlebotomy School

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avra Valley Arizona.


 

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