Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near Prescott Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Prescott AZ. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What's important 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 variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 premium education. To begin with, 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. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Prescott Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Arizona.