How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Jonesboro AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, many students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may 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 remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, 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 exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Jonesboro AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Jonesboro AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important 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 program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to 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 exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist 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 looking at. 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 internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Jonesboro AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your ultimate 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 college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.