How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Avra Valley Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Avra Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important 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 factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Avra Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Avra Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy 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 offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Avra Valley 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Avra Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Avra Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. 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 Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Avra Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available 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 Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avra Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avra Valley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous 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. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Avra Valley Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avra Valley Arizona.