How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near North Little Rock AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near North Little Rock AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In fact, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing 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 continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in North Little Rock AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including North Little Rock AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting 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 setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most North Little Rock AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for 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 furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist 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 OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other North Little Rock AR medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several North Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local North Little Rock AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in North Little Rock AR.