How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near North Little Rock AR
Picking the right phlebotomist training near North Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in North Little Rock AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including North Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting 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 environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once 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 look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy 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.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, 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 carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter 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 facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights 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 patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant 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 phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. 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 practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few North Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local North Little Rock AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. 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 are available in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state 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 screen and compare each school 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 best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in North Little Rock AR.