How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Pine Bluff AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Pine Bluff AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Pine Bluff AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Pine Bluff AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Pine Bluff AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Pine Bluff AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.