How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Hot Springs National Park AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Hot Springs National Park AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older 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 variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 significant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, 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 Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Hot Springs National Park AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs 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 program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.