How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Fayetteville AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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 in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. 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 two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain 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 obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole 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 ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fayetteville AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.