How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near North Little Rock AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near North Little Rock AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection 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 evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can 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 properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as North Little Rock AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of North Little Rock AR employers require certification before hiring 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for some North Little Rock AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select 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 superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from North Little Rock AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided 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 making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example 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 be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the North Little Rock AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with a few North Little Rock AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final 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 Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive 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 health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the North Little Rock AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings 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, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near North Little Rock Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to 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 right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in North Little Rock AR.