How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Conway AR
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Conway AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, many students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although 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 check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based 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 only 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 working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Conway AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Conway AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important 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 school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask 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 submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Conway AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Conway AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Conway Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.