How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.