How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Flagstaff AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Flagstaff AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job 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 collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Flagstaff AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior 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 working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Flagstaff AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 Enough 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate 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 phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Flagstaff AZ.