How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fayetteville AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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 in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Fayetteville AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend 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. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, 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 an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fayetteville AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large 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 program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose 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. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.