How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Prescott AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes 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 reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best 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.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments 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 properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers 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 practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Prescott AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job 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 percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.