How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Flagstaff AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Flagstaff AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Flagstaff AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Flagstaff AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 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 offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Flagstaff AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along 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 confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.