How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Lake Havasu City AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain 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 best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish 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 Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 College's Reputation? In many 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 check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City AZ.