How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Catalina Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Catalina AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Catalina AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Catalina AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Catalina AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Catalina AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Catalina AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Catalina AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Catalina AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing 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 school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina AZ, make sure they are available 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 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious 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. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Pick the Right Catalina Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Arizona.