How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Springdale AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Springdale AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest 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 supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Springdale AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working 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 exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range 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 provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides 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 phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Springdale 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Springdale AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Springdale AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Springdale AR healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
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Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each school before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.