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Become a Phlebotomist in Conway Arkansas

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Conway AR

Conway AR phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the right phlebotomist school near Conway AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description

Conway AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Conway AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Conway AR labThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education together 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Conway AR employers require certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Classes

Conway AR student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Conway AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle 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 now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Conway AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Conway AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Conway AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact 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 schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Conway AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Conway AR health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Conway AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even 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 illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas

Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Conway AR.