How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Rogers AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Rogers AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, such as Rogers AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Rogers AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Rogers AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 important if you will be commuting from Rogers AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. 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 college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, 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 schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Rogers AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rogers AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Rogers Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable 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 a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rogers AR.