How to Pick the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. Quite often the two requirements that initially are considered by 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 a local campus. Online classes will be discussed in more detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomy training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the only parameters you are looking at. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Phoenix AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be clinical 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-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process 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 schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available 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 Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phoenix Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix Arizona.