How to Choose the Right One Near Mesa Arizona
An important first step one must take to enter the fulfilling healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy training near Mesa AZ. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Mesa AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Mesa AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior 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 right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Mesa AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting 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 desirable to potential employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Mesa AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Mesa Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Mesa Arizona.