How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Springdale AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Springdale AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Springdale AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Springdale AR students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springdale AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Springdale 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important 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 contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.