How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Sherwood AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician training near Sherwood AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes 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 much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly 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 variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Sherwood AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Sherwood AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 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 furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make certain they are available 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 study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Sherwood Arkansas
Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.