How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Course
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Winchester AR is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it’s important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first 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 nearby campus. We’ll talk more about online classes later in this article. What’s important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including 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 reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let’s cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. The short definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. We will provide more details later. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Winchester AR medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient’s data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. 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 Winchester AR labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren’t enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Winchester AR hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor’s Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Winchester AR employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it’s essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let’s resolve one potential misconception. You can’t get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for some Winchester AR students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it’s time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Winchester AR in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it’s very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing and readies 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 recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school 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 examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Winchester AR job market.
What is the College’s Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it’s imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Winchester AR clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arkansas school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Winchester AR health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority 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 Winchester AR medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Winchester AR, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Phlebotomy Degree Winchester Arkansas
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program before making your final selection. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Phlebotomy Degree and to get more information regarding Training For Phlebotomy. However, by asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Winchester AR.
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