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Become a Phlebotomist in Little Rock Arkansas

How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Little Rock AR

Little Rock AR phlebotomist drawing bloodSelecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Little Rock AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must 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 reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Little Rock AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Little Rock AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Little Rock AR labThere are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist 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 provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Little Rock AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few 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 preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomist Colleges

Little Rock AR woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for many Little Rock AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Little Rock AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Little Rock 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 those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 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 offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Little Rock AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Little Rock AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Little Rock AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Little Rock Arkansas

Little Rock AR phlebotomy laboratory blood testingMaking sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling 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 can be found in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Little Rock AR.