How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Rogers AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Rogers AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Rogers AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Rogers AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Rogers AR employers require 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Rogers AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools 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 available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Rogers AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot 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 the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rogers AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rogers AR.