How to Pick the Right One Near Avondale Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Avondale AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with 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, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Avondale AZ employers require 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 Avondale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Avondale Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale Arizona.