How to Choose the Best One Near Mesa Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Mesa AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. There are a number of training programs that are offered in your area and it may seem like an intimidating undertaking to investigate and analyze each one. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Mesa AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Mesa AZ employers look for 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Mesa AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Mesa AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Mesa AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Mesa AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Mesa AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. 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 in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
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Enroll in the Right Mesa Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Mesa Arizona.