How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Lake Havasu City AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed 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. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City AZ.