How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Hot Springs National Park AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area 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 variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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 Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of 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 any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs National Park AR.