How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable 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 phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates 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 even talk to several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program 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 right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.