How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need 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 practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students 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 a few Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide 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 program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial 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 final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City AZ.