How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Fayetteville AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Fayetteville AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective 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 look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order 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 may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Fayetteville AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Fayetteville AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged 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 collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Fayetteville AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Fayetteville AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Fayetteville AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Fayetteville AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component 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 need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount 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 examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, such as 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 premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Fayetteville AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Fayetteville AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Fayetteville AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Fayetteville AR medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Fayetteville Arkansas
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Fayetteville AR.