How to Enroll in the Best One Near Avondale Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Avondale AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Avondale AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take 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 Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer 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 program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Avondale Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale Arizona.