How to Find the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must complete your due diligence before making your selection. More often than not the two qualifications that first come to mind for prospective students are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. And if you will commute to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Lake Havasu City AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate 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 offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Training Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Lake Havasu City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly 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 sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Lake Havasu City Phlebotomy Training
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City Arizona.