How to Choose the Right One Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Catalina Foothills Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Catalina Foothills Arizona.