Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Oro Valley AZ. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. 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 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 then resume our conversation about online training.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Oro Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic 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 phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Oro Valley AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Oro Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering 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 a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Oro Valley Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program 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 best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona.