How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Sherwood AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Sherwood AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly 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 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Sherwood AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Sherwood AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you choose 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are 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 Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Sherwood AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Sherwood AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Sherwood AR.