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Become a Phlebotomist in Texarkana Arkansas

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Texarkana AR

Texarkana AR phlebotomist drawing blood from patientSelecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Texarkana AR is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. 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 choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary

Texarkana AR phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After 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 an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Texarkana AR labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Texarkana AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

blood analysis done in Texarkana AR labThere are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Texarkana AR employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomy Training

Texarkana AR woman attending phlebotomy training onlineTo start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient option for many Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.

Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Texarkana AR medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Questions to ask Texarkana AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Texarkana AR job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Texarkana AR hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.

Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Texarkana AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR medical community.

Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Texarkana AR, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Texarkana Arkansas

Making certain that you choose the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.