How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Conway AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Conway AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Conway AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Conway AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Conway AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Conway AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage 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 along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.