How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Hot Springs AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Hot Springs AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples 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 must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance 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 quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Hot Springs AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. 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 probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Hot Springs AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Hot Springs AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin 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 previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before 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 phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several 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 filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Hot Springs AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a large 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 ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only 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 as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Hot Springs Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hot Springs AR.