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Become a Phlebotomist in Texarkana Arkansas

How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Texarkana AR

Texarkana AR phlebotomist drawing bloodEnrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Texarkana AR is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of potential students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.

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Phlebotomist Work Description

Texarkana AR phlebotomy laboratory technicianA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Texarkana AR labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Practice?

The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Texarkana AR medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing 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. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.

Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing

blood testing done in Texarkana AR laboratoryThere are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Texarkana AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Phlebotomy Online Schools

Texarkana AR student attending phlebotomy training onlineTo begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.

Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?

First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Texarkana AR medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs

What to ask Texarkana AR phlebotomy schoolsNow that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Texarkana 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 a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Texarkana AR job market.

What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any 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 assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Texarkana AR hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.

Is Enough 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Texarkana AR healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR health care community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending 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 on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 as a result of illness or emergencies.

Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Texarkana Arkansas

Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.