How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Conway AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Conway AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must 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 assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Conway AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Conway AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides 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 resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Conway AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Conway AR medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Conway AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high 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 Conway AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Conway AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school 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 pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.