How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Hot Springs National Park AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Hot Springs National Park AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, 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. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy 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 making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only go to 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 on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.