How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Fayetteville AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fayetteville AR is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Fayetteville AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior 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 best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with 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 school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Fayetteville AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.