How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Little Rock AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Little Rock AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Little Rock AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked 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 drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Little Rock AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out 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-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Little Rock AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Little Rock AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Little Rock AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Little Rock AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Little Rock AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Little Rock AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Little Rock AR.