How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near North Little Rock AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near North Little Rock AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding 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 too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
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. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in North Little Rock AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer 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 banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, 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 drawing blood from older 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 blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very 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 exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting 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 prospective employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local North Little Rock AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable 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 multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.