How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Citrus Park Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Citrus Park AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Citrus Park AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Citrus Park AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers 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 phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Citrus Park AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick 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.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Citrus Park AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Citrus Park AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, 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 completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Citrus Park AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Citrus Park AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Citrus Park AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Citrus Park AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Citrus Park AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Citrus Park Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking 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 realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Citrus Park Arizona.