How to Choose the Right One Near Phoenix Arizona
Perhaps the most serious decision you must make to enter the gratifying medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you receive a first-rate education you must perform your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
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 who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Phoenix AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Phoenix AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Phoenix AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Phoenix AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. 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 certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phoenix Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program 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 ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Phoenix Arizona.