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Become a Phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City Arizona

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Lake Havasu City AZ

Lake Havasu City AZ phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description

Lake Havasu City AZ phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Lake Havasu City AZ labThere are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Lake Havasu City Arizona student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make sure they are offered 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona

Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.