How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Conway AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Conway AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Conway AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Conway AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select 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 dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Conway AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, 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 often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical 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 relationships within the local Conway AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Conway AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.