How to Enroll in the Right One Near Flagstaff Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Flagstaff AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Flagstaff AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Flagstaff AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Flagstaff AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Flagstaff AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process 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 should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Flagstaff AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Flagstaff AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Flagstaff AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Flagstaff Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Flagstaff Arizona.