How to Choose the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Maricopa AZ. There are numerous training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and compare each one. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. Online courses will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your due diligence process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Maricopa AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Maricopa AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Maricopa Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa Arizona.