How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Flagstaff AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Flagstaff AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Flagstaff AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Flagstaff AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend 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 cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Flagstaff AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Flagstaff Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff AZ.