How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Prescott AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially 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 more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly 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 laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prescott AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 as well. You can even talk to some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final 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 Ample 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings 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, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.