Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Best One Near El Mirage Arizona
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near El Mirage AZ. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Should You Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other El Mirage AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of El Mirage AZ employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing 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 furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
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 performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many El Mirage AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from El Mirage AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the El Mirage AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local El Mirage AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the El Mirage AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near El Mirage AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right El Mirage Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in El Mirage Arizona.