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Become a Phlebotomist in Sherwood Arkansas

How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Sherwood AR

Sherwood AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Sherwood AR is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description

Sherwood AR phlebotomist laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Sherwood AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis performed in Sherwood AR laboratoryThere are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Sherwood AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomist Online Training

Sherwood AR student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Sherwood AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood 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 blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Sherwood AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.

Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Sherwood AR job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Ample Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR healthcare community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Sherwood Arkansas

Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.