How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Jonesboro AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method 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 on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant 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. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Jonesboro AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even 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 have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.