How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Rogers AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Rogers AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Rogers AR labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Rogers AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with 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 include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Rogers AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Rogers AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Rogers AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Rogers AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, make sure they are offered 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Rogers Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Rogers AR.