How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly 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 testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer 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 Plenty of 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only 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. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.