How to Choose the Best One Near Phoenix Arizona
Perhaps the most important decision you must make to enter the gratifying healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ. There are numerous training options available to you and it can seem like a daunting undertaking to research and compare each one. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online courses will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in your evaluation process. 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 select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online schools.
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Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective 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 some 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phoenix Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.