How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Fayetteville AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing 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 needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Fayetteville AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, 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 certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam 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 schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Fayetteville AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.