How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into 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 remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part 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 several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national 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 an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to 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 contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.