Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Best One Near Prescott Valley Arizona
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Prescott Valley AZ. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get 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. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must 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 evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Prescott Valley AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 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 provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Prescott Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Prescott Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Prescott Valley AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Prescott Valley AZ clinics or hospitals 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott Valley AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Prescott Valley Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Valley Arizona.