How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sherwood AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Sherwood AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. 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 ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, including Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy 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 offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Sherwood AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying agencies 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of 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 looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Sherwood AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Sherwood Arkansas
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently 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 pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.