How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Sherwood AR
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Sherwood AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Sherwood AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical 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. But since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Sherwood AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now 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 selected the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Sherwood AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sherwood AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Learn How to Become a Phlebotomist
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly 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 options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.