How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Springdale AR
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Springdale AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first 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 discuss 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Springdale AR employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact several Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springdale AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance 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, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Springdale 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Springdale AR.