How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Hot Springs AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Hot Springs AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Hot Springs AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Hot Springs AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding 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 degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. 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 prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Hot Springs AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested 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 complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Hot Springs AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Hot Springs Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs AR.