How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Lake Havasu City AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component 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, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several 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 final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Lake Havasu City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City AZ.