How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Citrus Park Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Citrus Park AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must 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 reviewing to help you select 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 training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Citrus Park AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Citrus Park AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Citrus Park AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Citrus Park AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Citrus Park AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before 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 phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Citrus Park AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Citrus Park AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Citrus Park AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Citrus Park AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Citrus Park 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 as well. 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 find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Citrus Park AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Citrus Park Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Citrus Park Arizona.