How to Find the Best One Near Florence Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Florence AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training programs available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Florence AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method 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 community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Florence AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Florence AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Florence AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Florence AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any 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 placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Florence AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Florence AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Florence AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Florence AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Florence Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Florence Arizona.