How to Enroll in the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
An important first step one must take to enter the gratifying medical vocation of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Maricopa AZ. There are many training programs available to you and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training programs, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Maricopa AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification before 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require 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 extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Maricopa Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa Arizona.