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Become a Phlebotomist in Jonesboro Arkansas

How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Jonesboro AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Jonesboro AR phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Jonesboro AR labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing performed in Jonesboro AR laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Jonesboro AR student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. 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 working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.

What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Jonesboro AR clinics or hospitals 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 find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas

Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.