How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Texarkana AR
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Texarkana AR is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Texarkana AR labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Texarkana AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. 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 different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Texarkana AR employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Texarkana AR students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Texarkana AR in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arkansas? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Texarkana AR job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal 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 investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Texarkana AR clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Texarkana AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance 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, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Texarkana AR medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Texarkana AR, make certain 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 sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Texarkana Arkansas
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Texarkana AR.