How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Springdale AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Springdale AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important 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 such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Springdale AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for many Springdale AR students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Springdale AR medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state 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 exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Springdale AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to 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, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Springdale AR.