How to Find the Right One Near Paradise Valley Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Paradise Valley AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. Quite often the two qualifications that initially come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Paradise Valley AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Paradise Valley AZ employers look for certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like 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 supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical 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-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Paradise Valley AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Paradise Valley AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Paradise Valley AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Paradise Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Paradise Valley AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Paradise Valley AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Paradise Valley AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Paradise Valley Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Paradise Valley Arizona.