How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility 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 accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific 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 working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed 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 part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online 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 making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations 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 practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some 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 considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you may 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs National Park AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best 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.