How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Texarkana AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Texarkana AR is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point 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 Texarkana AR laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Texarkana AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. 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 community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Texarkana AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying agencies 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 California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical option for many Texarkana AR students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in 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 quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on 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 campus is significant if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All 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. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. 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 satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Texarkana AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Texarkana AR hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Texarkana AR medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Texarkana AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Texarkana Arkansas
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.