How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs National Park AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Hot Springs National Park AR is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many 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 may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select 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 Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs National Park AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Hot Springs National Park AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Hot Springs National Park AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Hot Springs National Park AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hot Springs National Park AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs National Park AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. 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 College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Hot Springs National Park AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs National Park AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with 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 important to verify that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Hot Springs National Park Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable 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 several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs National Park AR.