How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Prescott AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College'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 in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin 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 solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive 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 college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.