How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Lake Havasu City AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Lake Havasu City AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, 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 infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation 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, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain 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 approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. 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 then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some 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 have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist 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? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.