How to Pick the Right One Near Mesa Arizona
A critical first step one must take to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy school near Mesa AZ. There are numerous training options available to you and it might seem like a daunting task to investigate and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence before making your decision. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 address 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 Plebotomist?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Mesa AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings 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 Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Mesa AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend 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 Mesa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Mesa Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mesa Arizona.