How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into 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 keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams 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 agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to 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 also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.