How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Conway AR
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Conway AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Conway AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Conway AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (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 study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Conway AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive 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 quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Conway AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.