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Become a Phlebotomist in Conway Arkansas

How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Conway AR

Conway AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Conway AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much 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 must 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 evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

Conway AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.

Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Conway AR laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Conway AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Conway AR student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Conway AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Conway AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Conway AR health care community.

Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend 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, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Conway Arkansas

Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before 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 school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.