How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Prescott AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job 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 drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm 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 extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very 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 any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.