How to Choose the Best One Near Avondale Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Avondale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal 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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Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Avondale 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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 no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job 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 college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are offered 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Avondale Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale Arizona.