How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prescott Valley AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking 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 make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, including Prescott Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation 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 look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy 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 chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant 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 phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking 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 all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt 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 certain they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Valley Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley AZ.