How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Flagstaff AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Flagstaff AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Flagstaff AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Flagstaff AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, 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 furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. 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 Program's Ranking? 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 the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Flagstaff Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.