How to Enroll in the Right One Near Fountain Hills Arizona
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding medical vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Fountain Hills AZ. There are many training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to research and analyze each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your decision. More often than not the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation 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 should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Fountain Hills AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Fountain Hills AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Fountain Hills AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 Fountain Hills AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before 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 call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, 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 working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for 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. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fountain Hills AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Fountain Hills AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs 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 a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fountain Hills AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Fountain Hills Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you pick 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 contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fountain Hills Arizona.