How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Hot Springs AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Hot Springs AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to 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 reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 in fact work in Hot Springs AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Hot Springs AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working 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 newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Hot Springs AR employers require certification before employing 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative 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.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Hot Springs AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Hot Springs AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Hot Springs AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to several 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 check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Hot Springs AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hot Springs AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Hot Springs Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential 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 quality school. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Hot Springs AR.