How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Prescott AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Prescott AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly 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 environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working 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, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Prescott Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott AZ.