How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, 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 needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 in fact work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety 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 usually takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Lake Havasu City AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all 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 requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact 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 final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before 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 pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.