How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Pine Bluff AR
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Pine Bluff AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose 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 Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Pine Bluff AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Pine Bluff AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually 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. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Pine Bluff AR employers require certification before 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Pine Bluff AR students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Pine Bluff AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. 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 schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Pine Bluff AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Pine Bluff AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Pine Bluff AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Pine Bluff AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Pine Bluff Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Pine Bluff AR.