How to Choose the Best One Near Oro Valley Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding medical profession of phlebotomy is to select the right phlebotomy training near Oro Valley AZ. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each one. However, to guarantee that you will get a quality education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will commute to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Oro Valley AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Oro Valley AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Oro Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Oro Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Oro Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Oro Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Oro Valley AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Oro Valley AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, make sure they are offered 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Oro Valley Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Oro Valley Arizona.