How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Prescott Valley AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online 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 far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing 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 continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant 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 program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make certain they are available 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 attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley AZ.