How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Flagstaff AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Flagstaff AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact 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. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Flagstaff AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Flagstaff AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working 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 Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once 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 hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing 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 select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.