How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Rogers AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist school near Rogers AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might 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 far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Rogers AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Rogers AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy 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 less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Rogers AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Rogers AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Rogers AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification 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 prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Rogers AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Rogers AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Rogers AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Rogers AR health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rogers AR, make sure they are offered 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 practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Rogers Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Rogers AR.