How to Choose the Best One Near Gilbert Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options available to you and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when comparing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost must not be the only criteria you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in 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 choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gilbert AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable 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 in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Gilbert Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gilbert Arizona.