How to Find the Right Phlebotomy School near Lake Havasu City AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Lake Havasu City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Lake Havasu City AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? 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 clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist 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 school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.