How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Hot Springs National Park AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type 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. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national 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 in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs National Park AR.