How to Choose the Right One Near Fortuna Foothills Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Fortuna Foothills AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your decision. 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. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. 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 provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Fortuna Foothills AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Fortuna Foothills AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum 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. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Fortuna Foothills AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general 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 type 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 significant if you will be commuting from Fortuna Foothills AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fortuna Foothills AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Fortuna Foothills AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 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 Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Fortuna Foothills AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fortuna Foothills AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fortuna Foothills AZ, make certain 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Fortuna Foothills Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fortuna Foothills Arizona.