How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Hot Springs AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Hot Springs AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, 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 needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hot Springs AR labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Hot Springs AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked 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 drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Hot Springs AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted 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 part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
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 some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Hot Springs AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Hot Springs Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs AR.