How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Jonesboro AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Jonesboro AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Jonesboro AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Jonesboro AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to 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. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 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 check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Jonesboro AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.