How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Sherwood AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy school near Sherwood AR is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Sherwood AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control 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 do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sherwood AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Sherwood AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected 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 in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important 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 place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an additional 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 Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. Even 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 policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy 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 rewarding medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.