How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, 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 right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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 principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning 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, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part 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 several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 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 comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are available 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.