How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can 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 workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of 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 some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process 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 decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that they are available 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.