How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Prescott AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Prescott AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have 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 preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true 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 certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.