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Become a Phlebotomist in Prescott Valley Arizona

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Prescott Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis done in Prescott Valley AZ labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Prescott Valley Arizona student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 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 offer adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Valley Arizona

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomy lab blood testingMaking certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important 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 contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.