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Become a Phlebotomist in Prescott Valley Arizona

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientPicking the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Prescott Valley AZ laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Prescott Valley Arizona student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many 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 might be a more practical option for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

What to ask Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow 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 might have already picked 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting 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 colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality 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 organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential 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 schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding 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 offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.