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Become a Phlebotomist in Hot Springs Arkansas

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Hot Springs AR

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Hot Springs AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Hot Springs AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Hot Springs AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Hot Springs AR labThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, most Hot Springs AR employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require 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 important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Hot Springs AR woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Hot Springs AR students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). 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 learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all 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 assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Hot Springs AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, check that they are available 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Hot Springs Arkansas

Hot Springs AR phlebotomist laboratory blood testingMaking certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs AR.