How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near North Little Rock AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near North Little Rock AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in North Little Rock AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as North Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many North Little Rock AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other North Little Rock AR medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.