How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Prescott AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining 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 is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate 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 an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.