How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Springdale AR
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Springdale AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal 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.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means 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. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, most Springdale AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for some Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now 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 chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as 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 has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority 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 critical to confirm that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springdale AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.