How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college 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 program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.