How to Choose the Best One Near Gilbert Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit before making your selection. Quite often the two qualifications that initially are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Gilbert AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, 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. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Gilbert Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert Arizona.