How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Prescott Valley AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much 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 should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal 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 medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.