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Become a Phlebotomist in Conway Arkansas

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Conway AR

Conway AR phlebotomy tech drawing bloodEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Conway AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Conway AR phlebotomy lab technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments 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 has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Conway AR labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Conway AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Conway AR woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Conway AR students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Conway AR medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely 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 may 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

What to ask Conway AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable 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 School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 considering. You can start 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Conway AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Conway AR healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide 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. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Conway Arkansas

Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.