Choosing a Phlebotomy School near Flagstaff Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Flagstaff AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomist training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are considering to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient’s information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Flagstaff AZ area laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Flagstaff AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting 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 working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at Flagstaff AZ junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it’s imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let’s dispel one possible misconception. You can’t receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the School’s Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students 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 some Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the Flagstaff AZ training program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with Flagstaff AZ healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Flagstaff health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Considering Phlebotomy Training near Flagstaff AZ?
Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston (known as the "Second Boston Party") to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.
Flagstaff lies near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the continental United States. Flagstaff is next to Mount Elden, just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona. Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m), is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Flagstaff in Kachina Peaks Wilderness.
Flagstaff's early economy was based on the lumber, railroad, and ranching industries. Today, the city remains an important distribution hub for companies such as Nestlé Purina PetCare, and is home to Lowell Observatory, The U.S. Naval Observatory, the United States Geological Survey Flagstaff Station, and Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and historic Route 66. The city is also a center for medical device manufacturing, since Flagstaff is home to W. L. Gore and Associates.
There are several stories and legends about the origin of the city's name. Surveyors, prospectors, and investors had traveled through the area in the mid- to late-19th century, and the act of stripping a pine tree to fly an American flag has been attributed to several individuals over a twenty-year span. It is said that, because of the flag that was raised, the area surrounding it became known as Flagstaff.
Choose the Ideal Phlebotomist Training Program near Flagstaff AZ
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Flagstaff AZ.
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