How to Enroll in the Right One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to guarantee that you receive a first-rate education you must perform a detailed audit before making your decision. Quite often the two requirements that initially come to mind for student applicants are the location of the school and the cost of tuition. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, location and cost must not be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be included in your evaluation process. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Lake Havasu City AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is significant 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 phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Lake Havasu City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Lake Havasu City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Lake Havasu City Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. 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 program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Lake Havasu City Arizona.