How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A 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 needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend 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 Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Catalina Foothills Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills Arizona.