How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Catalina Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Catalina AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Catalina 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 senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Catalina AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Catalina AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 important if you will be commuting from Catalina AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Catalina AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Catalina AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Catalina AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Catalina AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Catalina Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Arizona.