How to Pick the Right One Near Prescott Valley Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Prescott Valley AZ. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to research and analyze each one. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. Quite often the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check 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 point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Prescott Valley AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prescott Valley AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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, like 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 provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree 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 might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All 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 making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs 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 college has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Prescott Valley Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Valley Arizona.