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Become a Phlebotomist in Sherwood Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sherwood AR

Sherwood AR phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientChoosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Sherwood AR is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality 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 factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Sherwood AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed 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 may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?

The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Sherwood AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Sherwood AR labThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Sherwood AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees

Sherwood Arkansas student attending phlebotomy school onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Sherwood AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, few people probably 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 of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Sherwood AR medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

What to ask Sherwood AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered 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 schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school 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 phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? First, 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 looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR medical community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Sherwood Arkansas

Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.