How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Conway AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Conway AR is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Conway AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Conway AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Conway AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Conway AR medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights 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 patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Conway AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Conway AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 Conway AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.