How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Sherwood AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Sherwood AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types 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 basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Sherwood AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Sherwood AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now 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 chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional 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 quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.