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Become a Phlebotomist in Jonesboro Arkansas

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Jonesboro AR

Jonesboro AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Jonesboro AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description

Jonesboro AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working 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 environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Jonesboro AR labThere are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Jonesboro AR woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Jonesboro AR medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

What to ask Jonesboro AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal 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 investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact a few 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 contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Jonesboro AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR medical community.

Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt 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. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Jonesboro Arkansas

Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.