Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Find the Right One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Oro Valley AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. 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. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Oro Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Oro Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might 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 important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently 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 Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal 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 schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Oro Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Oro Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Oro Valley Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Oro Valley Arizona.