Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In fact, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be included in your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Lake Havasu City AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal 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 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 choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component 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 completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Lake Havasu City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Phlebotomist Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City Arizona.