How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Fayetteville AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Fayetteville AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly 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 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Fayetteville AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. 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 Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with 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 closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, 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 reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Fayetteville AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance 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, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.