Home >> Arkansas >> Hot Springs >> Phlebotomy Programs


Become a Phlebotomist in Hot Springs Arkansas

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Hot Springs AR

Hot Springs AR phlebotomy tech drawing bloodPicking the right phlebotomy training near Hot Springs AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.

Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area

Phlebotomy Tech Job Description

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Hot Springs AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly 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 variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Hot Springs AR labThere are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Hot Springs AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Colleges

Hot Springs Arkansas woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs AR students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Hot Springs AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Hot Springs Arkansas

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs AR.