How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Jonesboro AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby 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 comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can 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 in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic 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 specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Jonesboro AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Jonesboro AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools 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 jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.