How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near North Little Rock AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near North Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much 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 need to be part of your decision process also. 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 select 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in North Little Rock AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including North Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion 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. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many North Little Rock AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (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 disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other North Little Rock AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations 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 amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the School'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 quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local North Little Rock AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.