Phlebotomist Training Programs
How to Pick the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Lake Havasu City AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. More often than not the two requirements that first are considered by student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online schools will be discussed in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training courses, cost and location must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to 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 reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. 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 making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Lake Havasu City Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you choose the right 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 available in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City Arizona.