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Become a Phlebotomist in Texarkana Arkansas

How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Texarkana AR

Texarkana AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientChoosing the right phlebotomist training near Texarkana AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.

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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary

Texarkana AR phlebotomist lab techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Texarkana AR laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.

Where are Phlebotomists Employed?

The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Texarkana AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.

Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Texarkana AR labThere are primarily two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in most states, many Texarkana AR employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Texarkana Arkansas student attending phlebotomy classes onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.

Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, 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 getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Texarkana AR job market.

What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Texarkana AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Texarkana AR medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR medical community.

Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Texarkana AR, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain 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 due to illness or emergencies.

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Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Texarkana Arkansas

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently research and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Texarkana AR.