How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Springdale AR
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Springdale AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Springdale AR laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Springdale AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Springdale AR employers require certification before hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Springdale AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Springdale AR as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy 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 only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Springdale AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As 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 practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Springdale AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Springdale AR, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can differ slightly across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Springdale AR.