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How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Citrus Park Arizona

Citrus Park Arizona phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Citrus Park AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.

Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Citrus Park Arizona phlebotomy technician examining blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Citrus Park AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Citrus Park AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

Citrus Park Arizona phlebotomist examining a blood sampleThere are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Citrus Park AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Training

blood sample in test tube Citrus Park ArizonaTo begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Citrus Park AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Citrus Park AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Citrus Park AZ job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In many 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 imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Citrus Park AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Citrus Park AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher 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 Citrus Park AZ healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Citrus Park AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Learn More About Citrus Park Phlebotomy Programs

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Citrus Park AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Pick the Right Citrus Park Phlebotomist Course

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Citrus Park Arizona.


 

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