How to Pick the Best One Near Phoenix Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. There are many training programs that are offered in your area and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each one. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a first-rate education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be covered in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers require 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phoenix Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.