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Become a Phlebotomist in Jonesboro Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Jonesboro AR is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Jonesboro AR phlebotomy lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Jonesboro AR labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Jonesboro AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Colleges

Jonesboro Arkansas woman attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.

Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Jonesboro AR medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Questions to ask Jonesboro AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective 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 schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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 classroom and practical. As 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 less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Jonesboro AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Jonesboro Arkansas

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.