How to Find the Best One Near Catalina Foothills Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Catalina Foothills AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence before making your selection. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Catalina Foothills AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 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. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Catalina Foothills AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Catalina Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Catalina Foothills AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Catalina Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Catalina Foothills AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Catalina Foothills AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying 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 large network of professional contacts within the Catalina Foothills AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Catalina Foothills Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Catalina Foothills Arizona.