How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before 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 require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer 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 total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.