How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Springdale AR
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Springdale AR is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal 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.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Springdale AR labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Springdale AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Springdale AR employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Springdale AR students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Springdale AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Springdale AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Springdale AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 reviewing should provide at least 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 Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Springdale AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering 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 college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Springdale AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Springdale AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Springdale Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Springdale AR.