How to Enroll in the Right One Near Gilbert Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot 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 part of your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Gilbert AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able 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 often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Gilbert Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. 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 program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert Arizona.