How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Conway AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Conway AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Conway AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some Conway AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, contact 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 at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Conway AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much 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 college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program 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 medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.