How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Fayetteville AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may 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 keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Fayetteville AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). 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 earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fayetteville AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.