How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Choosing the right phlebotomist training near Jonesboro AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult 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 ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes 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 a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply 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 schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Jonesboro AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After 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 prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for some Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, 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 getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Jonesboro AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.