How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near North Little Rock AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near North Little Rock AR is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in North Little Rock AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as North Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers require certification prior to hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges 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 phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several North Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested 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 complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local North Little Rock AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in North Little Rock AR.