How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Sherwood AR
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Sherwood AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should 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 afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Sherwood AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Sherwood AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Sherwood AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous 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, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are a critical component 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 should ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior 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 previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating 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 numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Sherwood AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Sherwood AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.