How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Prescott AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Prescott AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Prescott AZ employers require 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.