How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy School near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may 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 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means 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 phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining 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 prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.