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Become a Phlebotomist in Jonesboro Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro AR phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Jonesboro AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Jonesboro AR phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Jonesboro AR laboratoryThere are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers look for certification prior to employing 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 Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Jonesboro AR student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical 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. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Jonesboro AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Jonesboro AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous 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 all colleges 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 placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided 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 as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, 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 health care community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Jonesboro Arkansas

Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.