How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Fayetteville AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Fayetteville 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 infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending 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 collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fayetteville AR.