How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Pine Bluff AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Pine Bluff AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Pine Bluff AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools 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 internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies 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 see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough 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. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Pine Bluff AR.