How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Jonesboro AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Jonesboro AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Jonesboro AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Jonesboro AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, many Jonesboro AR employers require 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for some Jonesboro AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Jonesboro AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Jonesboro AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask 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 check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Jonesboro AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Jonesboro AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Jonesboro Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Jonesboro AR.