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Become a Phlebotomist in North Little Rock Arkansas

How to Find the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near North Little Rock AR

North Little Rock AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near North Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary

North Little Rock AR phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 actually work in North Little Rock AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including North Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively 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 working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in North Little Rock AR laboratoryThere are basically two types 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 means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Colleges

North Little Rock Arkansas student attending phlebotomy classes onlineFirst, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other North Little Rock AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Questions to ask North Little Rock AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local North Little Rock AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to verify that the final school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, make certain 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 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near North Little Rock Arkansas

Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.