How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville AR
Picking the right phlebotomy technician school near Fayetteville AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Fayetteville AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final 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 Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Fayetteville AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.