How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Witter AR is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We’ll discuss 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish 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 then continue our discussion about online classes.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. The basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. We will go into more depth later. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Witter AR medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient’s information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Witter AR laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Witter AR medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, 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 drawing samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting 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 new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it’s not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Witter AR employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let’s dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Witter AR students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Witter AR in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arkansas? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Witter AR job market.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it’s important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Witter AR clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Witter AR health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it’s an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Witter AR health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it’s critical to make sure that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Witter AR, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Degrees Witter Arkansas
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a number of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Degrees and to get more information regarding Phlebotomist Training Programs. However, by addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Witter AR.
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