How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers require 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs National Park AR.