Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Paradise Valley Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Paradise Valley AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that initially are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be covered in more detail a bit later. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Paradise Valley AZ employers require certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
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 clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Paradise Valley AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify 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 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 obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Paradise Valley AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Paradise Valley AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Paradise Valley AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Paradise Valley AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Paradise Valley AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Paradise Valley AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Paradise Valley Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Paradise Valley Arizona.