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Become a Phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City Arizona

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Lake Havasu City AZ

Lake Havasu City AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Lake Havasu City AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Lake Havasu City AZ phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior 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 drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Lake Havasu City AZ labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. 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. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies include:

  • National Phlebotomy Association
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)

There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Lake Havasu City Arizona student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good 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 completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive 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 certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to 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, make sure it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Lake Havasu City Arizona

Lake Havasu City AZ phlebotomy lab blood analysisMaking certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential 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 go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City AZ.