How to Choose the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. More often than not the two requirements that first come to mind for prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. Whether 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's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist 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 several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phoenix Phlebotomy Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable 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 multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix Arizona.