How to Pick the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Phoenix AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical 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. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national 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 an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Phoenix AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges 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 positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phoenix Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.