Phlebotomist Training Schools
How to Choose the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Maricopa AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. There are numerous training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and compare each one. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Maricopa AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Maricopa AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Maricopa AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Maricopa AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Maricopa Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Maricopa Arizona.