How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Hot Springs National Park AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs National Park AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest 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 do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Hot Springs National Park AR employers look for certification prior to employing 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 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 important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the curriculum 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-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short 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 probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with anxious people who hate 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required 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 in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hot Springs National Park AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Hot Springs National Park AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs National Park AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority 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? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.