How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist School near Prescott Valley AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality 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 typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics 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 ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.