How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools 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 variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, 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 work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.