How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Fayetteville AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fayetteville AR is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, 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 basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Fayetteville AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Fayetteville AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently 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 College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.