How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Texarkana AR
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Texarkana AR is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss 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 important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Texarkana AR laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Texarkana AR hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Texarkana AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 college is relevant if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Texarkana AR job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. 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 research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Texarkana AR hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As 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 below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Texarkana AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Texarkana AR, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Texarkana Arkansas
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Texarkana AR.