How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Fayetteville AR
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Fayetteville AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, 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 used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist 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 provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished 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 hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you 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 selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings 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 also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.