How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Lake Havasu City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Lake Havasu City AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are available 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City AZ.