How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with 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 then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist 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 considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding 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 percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, 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 medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings 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 as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.