How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Fayetteville AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy 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 obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Fayetteville AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.