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Become a Phlebotomist in Prescott Arizona

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Prescott AZ

Prescott AZ phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Prescott AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process 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 online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Prescott AZ phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Prescott AZ laboratoryThere are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist 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 provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Prescott AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. 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 superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Prescott Arizona woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Questions to ask Prescott AZ phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish 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 AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting 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 reviewing before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, 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 practical training requirement, make certain 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Arizona

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.