How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best 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 Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs National Park AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility 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 solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification before hiring 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible 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 performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program 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 premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining 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 probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and 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 may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 significant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only 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 considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills 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 phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many 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 be able 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 frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Hot Springs National Park AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify 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 local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hot Springs National Park AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs National Park AR.