How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Lake Havasu City AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might 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 remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, 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 medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.