How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Fayetteville AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Fayetteville AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may 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 you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Fayetteville AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Fayetteville AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Fayetteville AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Fayetteville AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night 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 also. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Fayetteville AR.