How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Conway AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Conway AR is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 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 analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Conway AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Conway AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Conway AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish 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 as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Conway AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Conway AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out 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 submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Conway AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Conway AR medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Conway Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Conway AR.