How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Jonesboro AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Jonesboro AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Jonesboro AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Jonesboro AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.