How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Flagstaff Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Flagstaff AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Flagstaff AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Flagstaff AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Flagstaff AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Flagstaff AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several 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 have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, 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 colleges 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Flagstaff AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Flagstaff AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Flagstaff Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important 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 can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Flagstaff Arizona.