How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Pine Bluff AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Pine Bluff AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening 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 actually work in Pine Bluff AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Pine Bluff AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Pine Bluff AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, 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 future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact several Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide 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 school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.