How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Hot Springs AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Hot Springs AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments 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 needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Hot Springs AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Hot Springs AR employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Hot Springs AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Hot Springs AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Hot Springs AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs AR.