How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Sherwood AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Sherwood AR is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including 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 furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Sherwood AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Sherwood AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, a number of Sherwood AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component 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. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for many Sherwood AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm 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 premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Sherwood AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Sherwood AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have 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 working and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential 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 phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some 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 check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Sherwood AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Sherwood AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sherwood AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Sherwood Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Sherwood AR.