How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Springdale AR
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Springdale AR is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Springdale AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along 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 specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible 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 be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Springdale AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, 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 begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Springdale AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact 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 considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springdale AR medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.