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Become a Phlebotomist in Prescott Valley Arizona

How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Prescott Valley AZ

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

Prescott Valley AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood analysis performed in Prescott Valley AZ labThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Classes

Prescott Valley Arizona student attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part 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. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.

What is the College's Ranking? 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 investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? First, 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 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 may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Valley Arizona

Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.