How to Enroll in the Best One Near Florence Arizona
A critical first step one must take to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Florence AZ. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Florence AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Florence AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential 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 elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Florence AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Florence AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Florence AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Florence AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Florence AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Florence AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you choose 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 Florence AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Florence Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Florence Arizona.