How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked 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 numerous and varied, including Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly 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 drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant 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 online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing 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 all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed 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 choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of 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 exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges 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 rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.