How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Rogers AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy training near Rogers AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Rogers AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Rogers AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Rogers AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some 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 laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Rogers AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending 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 also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rogers AR.