How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Prescott AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested 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 making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Prescott AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
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 a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, 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 Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.