How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Jonesboro AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Jonesboro AR is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. 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 every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Jonesboro AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. 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 making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, 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 hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select 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 an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Jonesboro AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying 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 medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are available 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.