How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, 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.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually 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 method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college 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 phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? 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 opt to continue working while attending school. 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. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.