How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to 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 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 can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 many 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 important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good 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 important to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.