How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Fayetteville AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a general education along with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished 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 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program 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 receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about 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 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 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 furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, 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 Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fayetteville AR.