How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Lake Havasu City AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Lake Havasu City AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification before employing 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you 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 selected the kind of program you want 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 cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, 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 organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future 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 phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide 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 Enough Training Provided? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning 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 healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy 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 several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.