Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Best One Near Prescott Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Prescott AZ. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is a lot 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 assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Prescott AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Prescott AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies 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. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Prescott AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Prescott AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with 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, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Prescott AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, 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 Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Prescott Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Prescott Arizona.