How to Pick the Best One Near Green Valley Arizona
An important first step one must take to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to select the best phlebotomy school near Green Valley AZ. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must 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 evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Green Valley AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Green Valley AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion 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 completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Green Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Green Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Green Valley AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Green Valley AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Green Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Green Valley AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Green Valley Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Green Valley Arizona.