Phlebotomist Training Classes
How to Choose the Right One Near Apache Junction Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy training near Apache Junction AZ. There are numerous training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Apache Junction AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Apache Junction AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Apache Junction AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Apache Junction AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Apache Junction AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Apache Junction AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Apache Junction AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Apache Junction AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Apache Junction Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Apache Junction Arizona.