How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Conway AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Conway AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out 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 selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Conway AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select 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 Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Conway AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact some Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Conway AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.