How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Prescott Valley AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify 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 information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to 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 mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided 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 Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only 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 on a part-time basis, make sure 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 find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.