How to Find the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school 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 investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your decision. More often than not the two qualifications that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Lake Havasu City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, most Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, 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 decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. 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 Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Lake Havasu City Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat 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 diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City Arizona.