How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Rogers AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Rogers AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Rogers AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Rogers AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Rogers AR employers look for certification prior to 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical 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-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Rogers AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Rogers AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rogers AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Rogers Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rogers AR.