How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Prescott AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Prescott AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Prescott AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer 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 an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed 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 variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.