How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Pine Bluff AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Pine Bluff AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Pine Bluff AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Pine Bluff AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Pine Bluff AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.