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Become a Phlebotomist in Springdale Arkansas

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Springdale AR

Springdale AR phlebotomist drawing bloodChoosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Springdale AR is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.

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Phlebotomist Career Description

Springdale AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab 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 actually work in Springdale AR labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Springdale AR laboratoryThere are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education along 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Springdale AR employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Springdale Arkansas student attending phlebotomy school onlineFirst, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Springdale AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?

Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Springdale AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.

Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges

Questions to ask Springdale AR phlebotomy schoolsSince you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type 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 important if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online 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 considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Springdale AR job market.

What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Springdale AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Springdale AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.

Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springdale AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas

Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Springdale AR.