How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Ash Fork AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We’ll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What’s important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Ash Fork AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Ash Fork AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Ash Fork AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let’s resolve one possible misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Ash Fork AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Ash Fork AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, 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 take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Ash Fork AZ job market.
What is the School’s Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Ash Fork AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Ash Fork AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Ash Fork AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it’s important to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Ash Fork AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Attending Phlebotomy Training near Ash Fork Arizona?
If you have decided to enroll in a Phlebotomy School in the Ash Fork AZ area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your future school campus.
Ash Fork, Arizona
Geologic places of interest include the Cathedral Caves which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, and Dante's Descent, a 275-foot (84 m) deep sinkhole also known as "Devil's Hole", which is approximately five miles northwest of Ash Fork, off of Crookton Road. Unfortunately, after closure by the state, Dante's Descent cannot legally be visited by the public. Pictorial and historic documentation of the natural attraction may be found at the Ash Fork Library.
Ash Fork lies in close proximity to Kaibab National Forest and Coconino National Forest, and international attractions such as the Grand Canyon are approximately an hour's drive away using major roads. Service roads allow swifter access to back areas of Grand Canyon National Park, but may not be open to public thoroughfare.
Approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork is Beale Road, which has the distinction of being the first federally funded highway. The internationally renowned U.S. Route 66 also runs directly through the town. Notably, the longest original, uninterrupted stretch of Route 66 still in existence (approximately 9.6 miles (15.4 km) long) can be found between Ash Fork, Arizona, and Seligman, Arizona, beginning just beyond Ash Fork at Crookton Road. The surrounding geographical area and settlements served as inspiration for the 2006 Pixar film Cars.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy School near Ash Fork AZ
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in US Colleges Phlebotomy. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Ash Fork AZ.
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