How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Prescott AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Prescott AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain 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.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process 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 each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, 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 requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important 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 refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.