How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near North Little Rock AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near North Little Rock AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in North Little Rock AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as North Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, many North Little Rock AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for some North Little Rock AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, 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 superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available 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 School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few North Little Rock AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges 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 length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local North Little Rock AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in North Little Rock AR.