How to Find the Best One Near Chandler Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 assessing 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 training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means 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 to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Chandler 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain 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 method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most 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 Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Chandler AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Chandler Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler Arizona.