How to Pick the Best One Near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However, to guarantee that you receive a quality education you must complete your due diligence prior to making your selection. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. So when assessing phlebotomist training courses, location and cost must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program should also be part of your evaluation process. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address education options, licensing and certification, and online training.
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Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Lake Havasu City AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Lake Havasu City AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Lake Havasu City AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Lake Havasu City AZ job market.
What is the School'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 check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with 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 closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Lake Havasu City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Lake Havasu City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Lake Havasu City Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Lake Havasu City Arizona.