How to Find the Best One Near Maricopa Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Maricopa AZ. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant 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 select 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 Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. 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 probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who don’t like 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 can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Maricopa AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Maricopa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Maricopa AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? 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 prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages 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 qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Maricopa AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Maricopa AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Maricopa AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer 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 school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Maricopa AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Maricopa Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Maricopa Arizona.