How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Jonesboro AR
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Jonesboro AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Jonesboro AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Jonesboro AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Jonesboro AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality 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 ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Jonesboro AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with 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? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most 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 Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Jonesboro AR.