How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Texarkana AR
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Texarkana AR is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision 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 evaluating to help you pick 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 training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Texarkana AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, 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 babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Texarkana AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Texarkana AR medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, 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 prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected 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 program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, 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. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Texarkana AR job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Texarkana AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Texarkana AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Texarkana AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Texarkana Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.