How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Conway AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Conway AR is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick 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 classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Conway AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, most Conway AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Conway AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Conway AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Conway AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges 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 college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Conway AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Conway AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.