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Become a Phlebotomist in Flagstaff Arizona

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Flagstaff AZ

Flagstaff AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Flagstaff AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Flagstaff AZ phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Flagstaff AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Flagstaff AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Flagstaff AZ laboratoryThere are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Flagstaff AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Flagstaff Arizona woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Flagstaff 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 component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.

Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona

Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.