How to Pick the Best One Near Casa Grande Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Casa Grande AZ. There are numerous training programs available to you and it might seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, a large number of students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Casa Grande AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four 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 required in the majority of states, a number of Casa Grande AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Casa Grande AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
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 decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Casa Grande AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Casa Grande AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Casa Grande AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Casa Grande AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide 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 college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Casa Grande AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Casa Grande Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Casa Grande Arizona.