How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist School near Rogers AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Rogers AR is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential 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 online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Rogers AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Rogers AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Rogers AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Rogers AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, 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 opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, 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 agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare 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 contacts within the local Rogers AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college 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 together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rogers AR.