How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Little Rock AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Little Rock AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Little Rock 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 a few states that do require 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 imperative 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 elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Little Rock AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Little Rock AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see 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 full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish 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 comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Little Rock AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges 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 jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Little Rock AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Little Rock AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Little Rock AR.