How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy School near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes 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 college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating 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 numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. 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 research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick 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 go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Catalina Foothills Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills Arizona.