How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Jonesboro AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Jonesboro AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Jonesboro AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school 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 a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.