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Become a Phlebotomist in Flagstaff Arizona

How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Flagstaff AZ

Flagstaff AZ phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the ideal phlebotomy training near Flagstaff AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Flagstaff AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Flagstaff AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Flagstaff AZ laboratoryThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Flagstaff AZ student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to 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 refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out 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 filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Flagstaff AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ medical community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona

Flagstaff AZ phlebotomy laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Flagstaff AZ.