How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Springdale AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Springdale AR is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Springdale AR labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Springdale AR employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out 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-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. 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 receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Springdale AR medical facilities, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care 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 compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate 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 campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each 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 arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, 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 agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students 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 talk to a few Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springdale AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Springdale AR.