How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Jonesboro AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Jonesboro AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area 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 a lot 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 supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Jonesboro AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Jonesboro AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate 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 clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Jonesboro AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.