How to Choose the Best One Near Prescott Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Prescott AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Prescott AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Prescott AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Prescott AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus 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 college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Prescott AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools 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 even contact several Prescott AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs 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 additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Prescott AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help 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, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prescott AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Prescott AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Prescott Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Prescott Arizona.