How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Sherwood AR
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy school near Sherwood AR is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Sherwood AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Sherwood AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies 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 reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. 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 little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Sherwood AR clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make sure they are offered 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 clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.