How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Fayetteville AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 Fayetteville AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select 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 exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Fayetteville AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.