How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Rogers AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out 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 selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards 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 primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 Rogers AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Rogers AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally 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 method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 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. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Rogers AR employers look for certification before hiring 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 phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for some Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of 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 imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Rogers AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 full 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Rogers AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rogers 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rogers AR.