How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School near Prescott AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
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 call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. 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 education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.