How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Conway AR
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Conway AR is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Conway AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing 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 blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally 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 means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Conway AR employers look for 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Conway AR students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Conway AR medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Conway AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Conway AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, 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 Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.