How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prescott AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians 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 primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Prescott AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make certain they are offered 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.