How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Catalina Foothills AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 call for 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 important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
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 may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance 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 obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Catalina Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out 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 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 Catalina Foothills AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Catalina Foothills AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Catalina Foothills Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona.