How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Conway AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Conway AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Conway AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Conway AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. 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 premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Conway AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium 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 option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Conway AR medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Conway AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, 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 School's Reputation? 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 along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with some Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. 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 Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Conway AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support 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 higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Conway AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.