How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Rogers AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Rogers AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Rogers AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Rogers AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Rogers AR employers look for certification prior to employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. 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 superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Rogers AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Rogers AR medical facilities, well this job may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin 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. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Rogers AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added 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 Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Rogers Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rogers AR.