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Become a Phlebotomist in Sherwood Arkansas

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Sherwood AR

Sherwood AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Sherwood AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important 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. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Sherwood AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood testing performed in Sherwood AR laboratoryThere are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Sherwood AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Colleges

Sherwood Arkansas woman attending phlebotomy training onlineFirst, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Sherwood AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final 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 call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Sherwood AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out 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 total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR health care community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Sherwood Arkansas

Sherwood AR phlebotomist laboratory blood analysisMaking certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.