How to Find the Best Phlebotomist School near Springdale AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Springdale AR is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 Springdale AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The most basic response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic 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 provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Springdale AR employers look for certification before 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want 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 decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. 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 College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Springdale AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist 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 indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Springdale AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even 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 procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.