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Become a Phlebotomist in Fayetteville Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Fayetteville AR

Fayetteville AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Fayetteville AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might 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's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Fayetteville AR phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Fayetteville AR labThere are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Fayetteville AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees

Fayetteville AR student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, 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 amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous 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 essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals 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 complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist 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 college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together 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 ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas

Fayetteville AR phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit 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 school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fayetteville AR.