Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Drexel Heights Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Drexel Heights AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic answer 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 nervous in hospitals or other Drexel Heights AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Drexel Heights AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including 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 quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Drexel Heights AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Drexel Heights AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Drexel Heights AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Drexel Heights AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Drexel Heights AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Drexel Heights AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Drexel Heights AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Drexel Heights Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Drexel Heights Arizona.