How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Hot Springs National Park AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start the process by looking at two 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 discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, 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 best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming 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 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Hot Springs National Park 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician 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 nervous in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it 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 may be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important 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. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer 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 also check with a few Hot Springs National Park AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs National Park AR.