How to Select the Right Phlebotomy School near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for many Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, 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 any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, 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 lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs National Park AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.