Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Find the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Phoenix AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it might seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However, to ensure that you receive a top-notch education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your selection. Quite often the two requirements that first are considered by prospective students are where the school is located and how much the tuition is. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program should also be part of your evaluation 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 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 mandated in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist 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 method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely 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 any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Phoenix AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phoenix Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.