How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Prescott AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Prescott AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit 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 accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including 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 infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification before 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college 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 phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Prescott Arizona
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott AZ.