How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind 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 important 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. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before 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 a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective 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 schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy 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, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.