How to Enroll in the Best One Near El Mirage Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to research and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and 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 could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain 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 comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local El Mirage AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage 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. 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 policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best El Mirage Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in El Mirage Arizona.