How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Rogers AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Rogers AR is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, many students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Rogers AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Rogers AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available 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 furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Rogers AR employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few 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 select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Rogers AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Rogers AR medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required 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 compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Rogers AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. 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 many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Rogers AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Rogers AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rogers AR.