How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Hot Springs National Park AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Hot Springs National Park AR employers require certification before employing 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. 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 Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact several Hot Springs National Park AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often 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 are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, 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 medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.