Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Choose the Right One Near Prescott Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Prescott AZ. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Prescott AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Prescott AZ employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive 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 attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend 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 Prescott AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits 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 sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Prescott AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Prescott AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Prescott Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Arizona.