How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Springdale AR
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Springdale AR is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need 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 must be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, 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 confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Springdale AR employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-practical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, 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 Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Springdale AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen 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 choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.