How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many 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 infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest 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 phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high 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 a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. 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 as well. And if you have decided to study 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 need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.