How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Citrus Park Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician 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 evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Citrus Park AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as 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 babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting 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 older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Citrus Park AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Citrus Park AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Citrus Park AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Citrus Park AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Citrus Park AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable 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 Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Citrus Park AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend 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 part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Citrus Park AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required 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 right job for you.
Pick the Right Citrus Park Phlebotomist Course
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Citrus Park Arizona.