How to Find the Best One Near Flagstaff Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Flagstaff AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Flagstaff AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 Flagstaff AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Flagstaff AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Flagstaff Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school 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 pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Flagstaff Arizona.