Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Pick the Best One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options available to you and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you receive a quality education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Oro Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 no less than 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing 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 positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Oro Valley Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona.