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Become a Phlebotomist in Hot Springs Arkansas

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Hot Springs AR

Hot Springs AR phlebotomy tech drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Hot Springs AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Hot Springs AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Hot Springs AR labThere are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Hot Springs AR employers require certification before 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Training

Hot Springs AR woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.

Should You Become a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Hot Springs AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs

What to ask Hot Springs AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.

What is the College's Reputation? In many 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 important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Hot Springs AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Hot Springs Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs AR.