How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Prescott AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking 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 should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to 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. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.