How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Sherwood AR
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Sherwood AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby 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 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 selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing 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 mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Sherwood AR employers look for certification prior to 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.