How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Flagstaff AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Flagstaff AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Flagstaff AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Flagstaff AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical 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. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind 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 tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 classroom and practical. As 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 comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Flagstaff Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.